Gearing up for summer camp

Laura K. Silver

Laura K. Silver

I’m in the midst of camp preparation and I’ve never in my life seen anyone need so much stuff for 12 days (11 really, since I have to pick them up at 9 a.m. on the last day.) I take a trip with my children each year–we spend five days skiing and four days in the sun. Our luggage consists of two large duffles for the four of us. In one of the duffles, my husband and I pack four ski helmets and still we bring plenty of stuff. For these 12 days, my kids each need a duffle and a trunk. Can this really be right?

The camp created a list that I’m using and it’s not proving to be particularly helpful. Sure, it has rain boots, which neither child has ever worn but now possess thanks to the list, and it didn’t have, for example, sunscreen. Chances are, they are going to need that. This makes me wonder about all of the other stuff they are missing–such as bug spray. Whoops, that one missed the master list too.

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I’ve never been a camper myself, so this is a first for all of us. The Rub-a-Dub Sharpie is a new addition to our household, specially designed to stay put on all of their clothing. Marking some of these things is more effort than it is worth. Do I really care if their socks don’t come back? Maybe I can skip those or simply put initials. For that matter, I don’t really care about the underwear either, but the idea that they might wear someone else’s is enough to make me put a name on theirs.

It’s taken me longer to prepare for camp than the actual length of the camp, but I suppose they’ll have memories that will last a lifetime. And I’ll need those 12 days to gear up for the onslaught of laundry upon their return.